Maj. Gen. Haruna Momoh, the Deputy Chief of Policy and Programmes at the Nigerian Army Headquarters says the Army plans to re-invigorate and revive its full-time participation in the game of polo.
Momoh said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday while representing the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai at the groundbreaking ceremony for a proposed clubhouse for the Guards Polo Club.
The ceremony took place on the sidelines of the ongoing 11th edition of the Nigeria National Carnival Polo tournament in Abuja, in which the Nigerian polo team is playing alongside over 28 other teams.
NAN reports that a special cup is known as ‘the COAS Cup’ was also instituted at the club in this year’s edition in honour of Chief Lt Gen Tukur Buratai.
Abuja-based Lintex polo team emerged winners of the COAS Cup after defeating Hon. Ahmed Wadada-led Keffi Ponies 6 goals to 3 goals on Saturday.
Momoh, who doubles as Director, Staff duties, said the game of polo had always been the exclusive preserve of the army, adding that its interest had, however, waned as soon as civilians also became interested and got involved.
. The game was introduced into the country in 1904 by British colonial military officers and is a game the Nigerian army has always driven. We, however, kind of relaxed when the civil populace became interested in the game.
“But good a thing the current COAS has decided and rightly so, to reinvigorate and revive the Nigerian army’s full-time participation in the game and that’s why we are here today,” he said.
Momoh expressed appreciation to the COAS for his initiative and achievements so far, saying that the Army was looking forward to achieving greater things in the sport.
“I have always passed here but I never knew there was anything like this until I entered today and it’s all the handiwork of the current COAS for which we must appreciate him, he said, adding, ‘’We are also looking forward to greater things happening in the game of polo as far as the Army is concerned.
“As you can see, there are a lot of developments taking place. We have the Nigerian army team here, who have gone through a series of training both locally and abroad.
“We recently took part in some matches in South Africa and Morocco. We are also currently building the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Polo Association (NAPA) here at the Guards Polo Club, which was inaugurated in January by the COAS.
“We also have Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Ltd. We have horses being groomed there. So, these are some of the developments currently going on,” Momoh said.